Hand raised vs hen raised


Nov 2, 2015
Androscoggin County, Maine
I have a batch of sixteen birds, EEs, Orpington, and silkies that I raised via brooder and heatlamp since November. Even the roos can be picked up and handled easily. The chicks this generation are raising however, are very anti- human. We are the terrifying giants that drop food, apparently

Does anyone have advice on hand taming hen raised chicks? The hens don't take to well too a lot of interference from us, so I'm not sure if I should put her in a cage for a bit and play with the chicks or if that creates other problems.

There's a trade- off between broodie and brooder raised chicks. A good mama hen will be very protective, show her babies how to get along with the flock, where the food is, and lots about their environment. Meanwhile, she's not interested in human interference, and will keep the chicks away from people. It's very possible to 'tame' her babies later. Cockrels raised in the flock with older birds are more likely to be polite and respectful, IMO. Hand raised chicks take longer to integrate into the flock, and have to learn about the world on their own without adult guidance, so sometimes they get in more trouble through ignorance. Personally I'm not so interested in chickens who want to perch on my shoulder, as long as they come when I call for treats, and will hang around underfoot being chickens. Mary
I agree with everything Mary said. Her goals and mine are pretty similar. But we all have different goals.

The broody hen is really high on hormones and in very protective mode. She’ll pretty much keep them away from you. But before long she will wean them, leave them on their own to make their way in the flock. That’s when you start to tame them. Just be patient and consistent. It will take a while but they will come around.
Take a bucket or a chair out and sit as near as they will tolerate you without running. Have a little bucket or can of some sort of treat feed that you can rattle in the can. Start tossing a bit at your feet, or nearby at first. They will take an interest in this. Meanwhile, relax and look around without staring at them. They will come around. If they don't come closer, don't feed them the treat food. If your other chickens come to you, give them some so the others can see that they are unafraid. Also, when I fill their feeder, I step back if mom approaches with the chicks, then just stand and watch them eat for a bit. I talk to them. Then I turn and walk away before they do. Eventually, they, and mom, get the idea that I will not swoop down on them. I also make my dog stay back at this time because she makes mom nervous.
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